All Arrangements Made For Counting Of Votes Tomorrow: SEC Sharma

SRINAGAR:  The State Election Commissioner, K K Sharma on Monday stated that the State Election Commission has made all necessary arrangements for tomorrow’s counting of votes for District Development Council (DDC) elections which concluded on December 19.

The counting for 280 DDC constituencies will begin from 9 am on Tuesday at all district headquarters across the Union Territory.

The SEC chaired a meeting to review the final arrangements with regard to the counting process to be held tomorrow (December 22).

The meeting was attended by all Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir through video conferencing whileas Secretary State Election Commission and other senior election officers attended the meeting in person.

The concerned DCs informed the SEC about all the arrangements of counting of votes for DDCs regarding halls dedicated for counting at counting centres in their respective districts.

Each counting hall will have dedicated tables with each table with counting assistants monitored by one counting supervisor.

Elaborating further about the process, the SEC said that the process in each centre will be supervised by a Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer and added that the counting exercise will be recorded by CCTV cameras, and will be overseen by observers also.

Explaining the counting of ballot papers, the SEC stated that the counting will begin with the opening of ballot boxes and subsequently the ballot papers will be made into bundles of 25 each and compared with the actual number of votes polled in each polling station.

The bundles of each polling station will then be mixed together as per the counting guidelines, he said.

The SEC also directed the concerned DCs that COVID-19 protocol must be observed through mandatory masks, and hand sanitisers at each table, besides all the counting staff and other officials should compulsorily wear masks before entering the halls.

Also, the SEC complimented the Deputy Commissioners for successfully conducting the DDC and Panchayat by-polls in their respective districts.  He also thanked the health department, security forces and police for elaborative arrangements during the polling phases.

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